Best Recipe: Rum Bundt Cake

Cook’s notes: This classic Bundt cake appears on several Web sites as “Jamaican Rum Cake,” but I learned it from Ann Hodgman’s book. It doesn’t matter what you call this, it’s the best thing you can do with a boxed cake mix.

Makes 1 large Bundt cake, serving 12 to 16. You can also use a mini-Bundt cake pan to make 12 little cakes; bake for about 20 minutes (check at 15 minutes).

1 box (~18 oz) yellow cake mix without pudding in it
1 box (3.5 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup cold water or milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum or vanilla rum
4 eggs
1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 Tbsp vanilla

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark rum or vanilla rum

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 325F.

Lightly butter or grease the inside of a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan. Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.

In a large mixing bowl, beat all cake ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on medium 2 minutes more.

Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake 50 minutes at 350∞F or until done and a toothpick comes out clean.

Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Turn up the heat to medium, stir in water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum. Brush the top of the cake with about 2 Tbsp of the glaze. Let cake stand for 5 minutes.

Invert the cake onto a plate and unmold from the pan. Brush the cake with the remaining glaze. Cool completely.

Adapted from Hodgman, Ann. Beat that! cookbook. Shelburne, VT: Chapters Pub., c1995